What began as a Civil War training ground has transformed into one of the most iconic college football stadiums in America. Trace that history and watch as a 10,000-seat stadium is constructed and eventually grows into the modern facility that welcomes more than 80,000 fans on Saturdays in the fall.
Explore the Camp Randall Timeline
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More than 25,000 people welcomed home Wisconsin’s 1980 Winter Olympics heroes as Camp Randall Stadium hosted the free “Olympians Salute.” The salute, which honored 13 Olympic athletes and coaches, was televised throughout the state of Wisconsin. Among the honorees were former Badgers Mark Johnson and Bob Suter and five-time gold medalist Eric Heiden.
The unranked Badgers toppled No. 1 Michigan, 21-14, in the season opener after losing four straight match-ups with the Wolverines by a combined total of 176-0. After winning the first game of the year, the Badgers finished 7-5, losing to Tennessee in the Garden State Bowl.
Hear the game-winning interception call live in this video featuring announcer Jim Irwin.
The Crazylegs Classic, an 8K fundraising run, debuts, sharing the day with Butch’s Bologna Bash and the annual spring football game. The event drew 1,525 runners and raised $9,500. Since its debut, the race has raised nearly $3 million for Wisconsin Athletics and attracted more than 300,000 participants.
The heralded “bounce pass play” saw QB Randy Wright throw a lateral bounce pass to receiver Al Toon behind the line of scrimmage who then found tight end, Jeff Nault, for the touchdown. Despite the infamous call made by famous Wisconsin head coach Dave McClain, the Badgers fell to Illinois, 29-28, on a last-second field goal.
Cassville defeated Three Lakes, 19-8, to win the WIAA Division 6 state championship in the first WIAA state high school football title game played at Camp Randall Stadium. Since 1982, all WIAA state football championship games have been held at the stadium.
The men’s soccer team plays its final game at Camp Randall Stadium, losing to the NASL’s Minnesota Strikers, 5-0, in an exhibition match. The Badgers called Camp Randall home for the program’s first seven seasons before moving their home games to Breese Stevens Field.
The Badgers upset the sixth-ranked Buckeyes, 16-14, behind the stellar play of RB Marck Harrison and LB Craig Raddatz. Harrison rushed for 203 yards while Raddatz recorded two interceptions and 11 tackles.
Camp Randall Stadium hosts a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets. The two teams played in front of what was then the largest crowd to watch the Packers play in Wisconsin (73,959). The 38-14 Packers victory had a distinctly UW feel as former Badgers Randy Wright, Gary Ellerson and Al Toon all played major roles. Wright started at quarterback for the Packers while Ellerson had 12 carries for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns for Green Bay. Toon started at wide receiver for the Jets and caught two passes for 19 yards.
The Packers would play a total of 12 preseason games in Camp Randall Stadium over the span of 14 seasons from 1986 to 1999.
Michigan defeats the Badgers, 34-17, in the first night game ever played at Camp Randall Stadium.
Don Morton’s three-year tenure as UW’s head coach begins with a 28-7 win over Hawai’i in the season opener at Camp Randall Stadium.
The first major concert is held at Camp Randall Stadium as Pink Floyd plays to a crowd of 45,132 fans. The set list for the two and half-hour show can be found here.
Camp Randall Stadium hosts “Circus Day” at halftime of the Badgers’ game vs. Illinois. During the halftime show, UW Band Director Michael Leckrone rode into the stadium on an elephant. When the elephant stooped down to let Leckrone off his back, it left a “deposit” at midfield in front of the Wisconsin bench. Maintenance crews had to delay the start of the second half due to the clean up.
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Astroturf is installed.
Barry Alvarez secures his first victory in a 24-7 win over Ball State at Camp Randall Stadium. It was UW’s only victory that season.
A computerized scoreboard is added in the south end zone affixed to the UW Field House.
Genesis, with lead singer Phil Collins, plays in front of 48,015 fans at Camp Randall Stadium. The set list can be found here.
A Camp Randall Stadium concert-record 62,280 fans are in attendance as U2 brings its Zoo TV tour to Madison. Public Enemy was one of two opening acts before Bono led U2 on stage. The set list (including “Where the Streets Have No Name” at No. 17) can be found here.
The Badgers beat No. 12 Ohio State, 20-16, earning their first win over a ranked opponent in seven years as well as their first conference opening win in 11 years. After trailing 10-3 at the half, the Badgers mount a comeback behind solid performances from RB Brent Moss who rushed for 89 yards and two TDs and QB Darrell Bevell who completed 18-of-30 passes and threw for 218 yards.
Following the Badgers’ 13-10 win over No. 24 Michigan, students in the north east corner of Camp Randall Stadium began to charge the field to celebrate, but were blocked by the guard rails surrounding the field. The students at the front of the section were pinned against the rails until the force became too much and the rails gave out. More than 70 people were hurt in the melee.
As they were exiting the field towards their team tunnel, members of the Badgers football team noticed the chaos and began helping fellow students escape the danger. Michael Brin, a walk-on wide receiver, became the face of the rescue effort after he helped revive a woman with mouth-to-mouth.
One week after the tragic stampede of the student section at Camp Randall, the Badgers welcomed No. 3 Ohio State to Madison. The Buckeyes were undefeated on the season and had a 14-game regular season unbeaten streak dating back to the previous year. OSU blocked Rick Schnetzky’s game-winning field goal as time expired to end the game in a 14-14 tie. The Badgers and Buckeyes went on to share the Big Ten title that season.
The Slab of Bacon, the precursor to Paul Bunyan’s Axe as the prize given to the winner of the Wisconsin-Minnesota game, was found in a storage closet in Camp Randall Stadium by Will Roleson, an intern in the sports information office. The trophy was created in 1930 and went missing following the 1943 game but had the scores of all the games through 1970 engraved on the back when found.
Pink Floyd makes a return trip to Camp Randall Stadium. Read a full, first person account of the sold-out (60,690) show here.
The world famous Rolling Stones, with legendary lead singer Mick Jagger, play the first of their two shows at Camp Randall Stadium. The concert draws 51,201 fans. The set list can be found here.
Freshman RB Ron Dayne makes his Badger debut as he rushes for 53 yards on eight carries and scores his first career TD in UW’s 24-3 win over Eastern Michigan.
Ron Dayne explodes for 129 yards on 24 carries, including two TDs, as the freshman records his first 100-yard game as a Badger. UW falls to undefeated Penn State, 23-20.
U2 returns to Camp Randall Stadium for its PopMart Tour, drawing a crowd of just 34,002. Here is the complete set list.
In the final major concert at Camp Randall Stadium, The Rolling Stones return with Blues Traveler as the opening act. A disappointing crowd of 27,087 watches the show. View the complete set list here.
House of Pain’s “Jump Around” made its debut between the third and fourth quarters of the night game, as CB Jamar Fletcher intercepts a Drew Brees pass and returns it for the go-ahead score in a 31-24 Homecoming win over Purdue. Ron Dayne carried the ball 33 times for 127 yards to pace the Badgers. Brees set an NCAA mark with 83 pass attempts and tied the completion mark of 55 while amassing 494 yards through the air.
Kevin Kluender was in his second year as an assistant marketing director at Wisconsin that fall. Kluender’s job at Badger home games was to cue up music and to work in conjunction with public address man Mike Mahnke. That season marked the debut of the “student section race,” a mock competition run on the stadium scoreboard in which the letters representing the student sections at Camp Randall Stadium (K, L, M, N, O and P) raced against each other. The race, always run at the end of the third quarter, was usually followed by music that Kluender selected.
Ryan Sondrup, a former Badger football player and then volunteer in the athletic marketing office, had (along with some other Badgers) come up with a list of contemporary music to be played in the stadium during games. That evening Kluender chose “Jump Around,” a song released in 1992 by a group called House of Pain.
Kluender, however, is not completely comfortable with taking credit for introducing “Jump Around” to Camp Randall Stadium. “The song was already in our computer when I got to Wisconsin,” Kluender said. “I’m sure it had been played before. But that Purdue game was the first time we did it in the format that we’ve maintained over the years.”
Entering the game, the Badgers needed Ohio State to beat Michigan as well as win their own game against Penn State to win the Big Ten. Late in the first quarter, the OSU/Michigan game result was shown on the Camp Randall Stadium scoreboard, giving new life to the Badgers as they had a chance to win the Big Ten after a three-way tie with OSU and Michigan. The Badgers turned it on during the second quarter to put the game out of reach, beating Penn State 24-3 and earning their fifth Rose Bowl appearance.
In Green Bay’s final preseason game played at Camp Randall Stadium, Brett Favre started at quarterback against the Denver Broncos but left after eight plays when he was knocked to the ground by John Mobley and landed awkwardly on his right hand. Favre stayed on the sideline for the first half but watched the second half from the locker room. The Packers said no X-rays were taken of Favre’s hand and the injury wasn’t serious. A crowd of 78,184 saw the Broncos win 27-12, the largest ever to see the Packers play in Wisconsin, besting the previous record set at Camp Randall. The Packers went 9-3 in exhibition games played in Madison.
ESPN College Gameday pays its first visit to Madison as Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbreit and company set up on the grass practice field just north of Camp Randall Stadium prior to the Badgers game against No. 4 Michigan. All told, Gameday has originated from Madison six times.
The Badgers clinch the Big Ten title and a return trip to the Rose Bowl with a 41-3 victory over Iowa in Madison. Ron Dayne rushes for 216 yards and, in the process, becomes college football’s career rushing leader on a 31-yard carry in the second quarter.
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After beating Purdue to advance to the Final Four, more than 20,000 fans packed Camp Randall Stadium to welcome the men’s basketball team back to campus. The Regional Final was played in Albuquerque, N.M., so the welcome reception took place around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
After recording only 24 yards on the ground and trailing 6-0 at the half, the Badgers responded with a huge second half, coming from behind to beat the Oregon Ducks, 27-23, at Camp Randall Stadium. Michael Bennett had 258 of his 290 rushing yards in the second half, while cornerback Jamar Fletcher had three interceptions and free safety Jason Doering had 18 tackles.
Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that shook the world, the University of Wisconsin choose to push back its final nonconference game of the 2001 season against Western Kentucky. The two teams met on Sept. 29 during UW’s originally scheduled bye week.
WR Lee Evans registers a then-Camp Randall Stadium-record 228 yards receiving in a 42-28 loss to Michigan State
In the earliest season-opener in school history, the Badgers came from behind to defeat Fresno State, 23-21, on the strength of a Mike Allen 34-yard field goal with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. Sophomore RB Anthony Davis ran for 184 yards while fullback Matt Bernstein scored on a pair of short TD runs in his Badger debut.
Wisconsin becomes bowl eligible and wins back the Paul Bunyan Axe as Anthony Davis rushes for 301 yards and five touchdowns in a regular-season ending 49-31 win at home over Minnesota. Davis becomes only the third Badger to rush for more than 300 yards in a game. Walk-on sophomore Jim Leonhard records two interceptions, breaking the school record for picks in a season (11).
Wisconsin becomes the first team in Big Ten history to have a 200-yard rusher and 200-yard receiver in the same game. Anthony Davis rushes for 247 yards and Lee Evans records 214 receiving yards in a 48-31 win over Akron. Evans (258) and RB Dwayne Smith (207) repeat the feat against Michigan State later in the season.
Backup quarterback Matt Schabert connects with Lee Evans for a 79-yard touchdown strike to upset third-ranked Ohio State 17-10. The Buckeyes had arrived at Camp Randall with a 19-game win streak and, after UW starting quarterback Jim Sorgi left the game, Schabert stole the show by hitting Evans for the winning score.
WR Lee Evans breaks Wisconsin records for receiving yards (258) and touchdowns (five) as the Badgers rout 21st-ranked Michigan State, 56-21, in Madison.
The artificial turf is replaced with a rubber composite system installed by FieldTurf.
Barry Alvarez becomes the 10th coach in Big Ten history to win 100 games at one conference institution as the Badgers defeat UCF, 34-6, in their season opener.
Camp Randall remained virtually untouched for over 35 years until the most recent renovation began in 2001. The $109.5 million project was completed in 2005 raising the capacity to where it currently rests at 80,321.
Wisconsin sneaks past No. 14 Michigan, 23-20, at Camp Randall Stadium following QB John Stocco’s four-yard TD run with 24 seconds left in the game. RB Brian Calhoun rushed for 155 yards on 35 carries while also recording a TD. The win snapped Michigan’s 23-game win streak in Big Ten openers, while allowing UW to tie its modern-day mark by tallying its ninth-straight home win.
The Badgers defeat Marshall 51-14 to win their 16th-straight home game at Camp Randall, the second-longest streak in school history.
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UW hosts the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic, a doubleheader featuring the women’s hockey team hosting Bemidji State and the men’s team squaring off against Michigan.
A then-NCAA women’s hockey record 8,263 fans watched the Badgers skate past Bemidji 6-1. Future U.S. Olympian Brianna Decker scored two goals and assisted on another.
In the men’s game, No. 3 Wisconsin got two power-play goals from Brendan Smith in the final 6 minutes of the third period to defeat No. 19 Michigan, 3-2. A crowd of 55,031, then the second-largest crowd to ever watch a college hockey game, was in attendance. Future NHL All-Star Derek Stepan assisted on both of Smith’s goals while 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner Blake Geoffrion assisted on UW’s first goal.
Future Olympic gold medalist and former Badger swimming and track athlete Gwen Jorgensen wins the women’s title in the 29th running of the Crazylegs Classic. A record 20,415 registrants take part in the event. Jorgensen won it the following year as well.
With ESPN’s College Gameday emanating from inside Camp Randall Stadium for the only time in the show’s history, David Gilreath returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Badgers score the first 21 points of the game en route to a 31-18 win over No. 1 Ohio State, the team’s first win over a top-ranked team since 1981.
UW defeats Indiana, 83-20, setting a modern-era school record for points in a game and tying a Big Ten record for points in a conference game.
The Badgers win a share of their first Big Ten title since 1999 and score 70 points for the third time on the season, downing Northwestern, 70-23. Before this season, UW had scored 70 points in a game six times, the last coming in 1915.
In Nebraska’s inaugural game as a member of the Big Ten, the Badgers welcome the 8th-ranked Huskers with a 48-17 trouncing in front of a prime-time national TV audience. UW scores 20 points alone in the second quarter and does not allow a TD from Nebraska after halftime. Russell Wilson throws for 255 yards and two TDs, while Montee Ball runs for 151 yards and tallies four TDs.
UW beats Penn State, 45-7, to capture the inaugural Leaders Division title and earn a spot in the first-ever Big Ten title game. The Badgers hold the Nittany Lions to 233 yards of total offense while Montee Ball rushes for 156 yards and four TDs.
The field was replaced with a new FieldTurf surface prior to the 2012 season.
Further renovations prior to the 2013 season saw both scoreboards “” above the north end zone and attached to Kellner Hall “”Â replaced with larger, high-definition displays.
UW-Madison Spring Commencement returns to Camp Randall Stadium for the first time since 1990.
Behind 253 rushing yards and a school record-tying five touchdowns from Melvin Gordon, the Badgers set single-game UW records with 644 rushing yards and 756 total yards in a 68-17 win over Bowling Green at Camp Randall Stadium.
In only three quarters and on just 25 carries, RB Melvin Gordon breaks the FBS single-game record by rushing for 408 yards in a 59-24 win over No. 11 Nebraska at Camp Randall Stadium. Gordon’s mark topped the 15-year-old record of 406 set by TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson in 1999. Gordon averaged 16.3 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns in the game.
The 14th-ranked Badgers battle back from a 17-3 second quarter deficit to down No. 22 Minnesota in a 34-24 win that secures the inaugural Big Ten West Division championship and gives UW its 11th-straight win over the Golden Gophers in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
Well-known TV journalist Katie Couric delivers the 2015 commencement address at Camp Randall Stadium. Among the graduates in attendance is 2015 unanimous college basketball player of the year Frank Kaminsky.
The day after being inducted into the Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame, Brett Favre returns to Camp Randall Stadium to host a charity flag football game. The event, which pitted Packers All-Stars against NFL All-Stars (including former Badger Ron Dayne), drew a crowd of 22,497.
In nearly a carbon copy of the last meeting between the teams at Camp Randall, No. 5 Wisconsin overcomes a 17-7 halftime deficit to defeat Minnesota, 31-17, and capture the Big Ten West Division championship. The Badgers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to secure their 13th-straight win over the Golden Gophers in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.